Daniel 9 - The Prayer that Grabs God's Attention

Brent Aucoin June 14, 1999 Daniel 9:

This is a mix of several notes regarding this sermon.

 

If God said to you “When you do this, I will listen to you, and you will find me. . .’
        “When you Pray like this, I will listen to you


Would you do that?, Is having God’s ear and attention important enough to    you that you would do as he prescribed?

Has God Said that in Scripture?
In Scripture there is a place where God told a certain group of people that if they did this  and prayed this way, He would listen to them, and they would find God

Read Jeremiah 29:1-14

Wouldn’t be great if we could see the content of prayer that is characterized by    “searching for God with all one’s heart”
Jeremiah 29:11-13
11 ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,‘ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.12 ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.13 ‘And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could see the content of prayer that is characterized by    “searching for God with all one’s heart”

And see the example in Scripture of the Prayer that God promises to listen to. . .
Do we have that recorded?

Absolutely! Turn over to Daniel chapter 9.
Where was Daniel  --in exile remember who was Jereimiah writing to the elders      and priests in exile
Read Daniel 9:1-4
Daniel 9:4 And I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed and said, “Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments,

What did Jeremiah say?
Jeremiah 29:1212 ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.

My friends this is that prayer, that God promised to listen to.
We have it laid out here for us to understand and digest and begin emmulating so that we  will have God’s attentive ear. . .and response.
Theme:  Believers must understand & begin growing in the type of prayer that ellicits    God’s attention and response.
Be looking for the following 3 crucial components
Sincere Appeal to God, Comprehensive Confession, Unambiguous Request for  forgiveness.
as we read the rest of the text

I.  Sincere Appeal to God (v.3)  - “gave my attention, to seek Him”


  2 critical mindsets that characterize a sincere appeal

     A.  Undivided attention to God -- “with fasting”
Many times as we read through Scriptures, and find fasting mentioned we     immediately think, “that’s not for us”

INPUT:  What is “fasting” usually associated with that leaves us with a bad     impression of this activity?
  Works religion-- I do this and I get a special blessing
    as if the activity itself of abstaining from food has special      merit
    Pharisees 
  Monks/Asceticism -- Abuse of the body for some kind of spiritual benefit
 

As I see Daniel here, and Christ in the Scriptures, and men of God in the Old    Testament and New Testament “fasting”,  the purpose behind the activity    was to give unfettered, undivided, attention to God  in prayer

It was not some kind of mystical activity, it was an extended, time devoted to God   where other activities were stopped.
 
Because it was undivided attention that naturaly meant there would be no      eating,  there would be no entertainment,
 
INPUT:  What is an extended time of “undivided attention” particularly    uncharacteristic of our society today?
  In  our attention deficit Society today, we have the attention span of the    average 30 second commercial

  In our ADD culture it is no wonder that we only pray for thirty seconds     here and there and then justify that by claiming that we are      “praying always”
  As a culture and an individuals, we have lost the ability to give purposeful     meaningful, attention to something, let alone God
  Instead of investing mental energy and intellect in extended, active      praying to God,
  we have trained our minds to be inattentive and passive through much of     our activities.

Fasting>an extended time of undivded attention to God is a casualty of the T.V.     Video Game Age.
“Am I saying that  we should go out and spend the night in prayer, no,
  For one I don’t think we would know how,
  Progressive Sanctification
  15 minutes of undivided attention to God in prayer
   praying for  the salvation of loved ones,
     the spread of sufficiency of the Scritpures
     the revival of morality in this country.

     B.  Unelevated estimation of self  --  “sackcloth and ashes”

INPUT:  Think of the picture that wearing “sackcloth” and sprinkling ashes    represents.  What does this tell you about Daniel’s state of mind?

“sackcloth”-- made of goat hair and very uncomfortable, it irritated the skin, the  closest material we would have to that today is burlap
Implication of all this is there is nothing fancy here, noting fluffly and luxiours,    nothing attractive, nothing smooth, about who we are in sin!
  No pomp and circumstance

“Ashes”:  destruction/ worthless rubble, destroyed objects, useless objects

  NO OILS, NO LOTIONS, he sprinkled himself with ashes

     These tell us that Daniel was laying himself bare before God.  With out     pretention, but with full understanding of his and his country’s depravity

Such that he was sprinking ashes on himself as a reflection of how worthless he    and his country were in their sin.

Their behavior had been rough, coarse, and irritating, just like sack cloth, and just    as grotesque and ugly as sackcloth, or burlap.

INPUT:  Why do these outward signs of humility, repentence, and devotion seem   so foreign to us in the late 20th Century.

  These outward signs are so foreign to us, because th inward attitudes they    represent are so rare in us.

  Now, the inward attitudes of humility, repentance, and a laying of oneself    bare before God are not limited to these outward expressions of fasting,    wearing sackcloth and ashes.

  However, what modern day expressions can you point to?  I really can not    think of any.

  And that leads me to believe that, these outward signs are so foreign to us     because the inward attitudes or mindsets are so rare.

  May God Help us!

II.  Comprehensive Confession of Sin (v. 4-14)


three-fold acknowledgement that  comprises a comprehensive confession
     A.  Acknowledgement of God’s Righteousness
v. 4 Daniel says, and I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said,
notice what his confession began with. . .

4 And I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed and said, “Alas, O Lord, the  great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for  those who love Him and keep His commandments,

v. 7 “Righteousness belongs to Thee, O Lord,

Why is God’s righteousness mentioned in the context of a confession of sin.

Our sinfulness is most clearly seen in the context of God’s righteousness.
God always does the right thing, He always keeps his word,
  v. 12  Thus, He has confirmed His words which He had spoken against us.

As we confess our sins, we do need to spend time mulling over God’s     rightousness and Holiness which will help crystalize in our understanding    the precise nature of our sinful habits and actions.

INPUT:  Biblical passages to consider on his righteousness?

  When our understanding of the precise nature of our sinful habits and     actions is shown, then.  .

     B.  Acknowledgement of Precise Wrongdoing
INPUT:  Why does Daniel’s word represent a “definitive” confession?
  Daniel call’s sin sin.

Notice the terms he uses. . .
1. “sin” -  Missing the mark
2.  “iniquity” - crookedness
3.  “wickedness” - confusion
4.  “rebellion” - defiance of authority
5.  “turning away”


In January of 1996, Pastor Joe Wright open the new session of the kansas Senate,  he opened in prayer.  Many of you heard his prayer.  Let me read it to you again  and ask you this question.  Why was this prayer so poignant, powerful, and biting.

Heavenly Father, we come before You today to ask Your forgiveness and seek Your direction and guidance.  We know Your Word says, "Woe on those who call evil good," but that's exactly what we have done.  We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values.  We confess that:

We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it pluralism;
We have worshipped other gods and called it multi-culturalism;
We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle;
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery;
We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation;
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare;
We have killed our unborn and called it choice;
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable;
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem;
We have abused power and called it political savvy;
We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition;
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, O God, and know our hearts today; try us and see if there be some wicked way in us; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.  Guide and bless these men
and women who have been sent here by the people of Kansas, and who have been ordained by You, to govern this great state. Grant them Your wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the center of Your will.  I ask it in the name of Your Son, the Living Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.


Why is that prayer so “biting” and “sharp”, “poignant,” “powerful”

  Because it precisely and accurately calls sin sin
  Heb 4:12  Word of God is living and active and sharp

  We are commanded to let that word dwell in us Col 3:16, and that means    our confessions have to agree with what God says about our sin, if our    prares are going to ellicity a response.

     C.  Acknowledgement of Just “Deserves” (vv. 7-8, 13-14)
  v. 7  “open shame” belong to us
  v. 8 “open shame” belong to us
  v. 13-14
Daniel 9:13 “As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Thy truth.14 “Therefore, the LORD has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the LORD our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice.

a natural extension of the the two acknowledgements that we have talk about so for that comprises a comprehensive confession is
a recognition of what we deserve

IMPLICATIONS:  What may be a true of an individual who verbalizes a confession but is unwilling to face consequenses?

When there is an acknowledgement of just deserves, there will be not resisting of  impending consequences.

III.  Unambiguous Request for forgiveness (vv. 18-19)


2 clear understandings we must have as we request mercy
     A  Undeserved Compassion (v. 18)
Is there any pretension when you ask forgiveness,
  “Yeah I was wrong, but I wasn’t that wrong and I deserve to be forgiven”
  We do not deserve to be forgiven period,
  We are forgiven solely because God is compassionate, and that was
   demonstrated clearly at the cross
     B.  Not-for-Personal Profit Motive (v. 19) “ For Thine own sake”
  Why does God forgive?
  Why does God do anything?  For his Glory
  When he forgives, is it primariy so that I feel better
  Is it primarily so that circumstances might improve?
 
  Its so that God might be glorified
  Why do you ask for forgiveness?  is it primarily for your own benefit
   or is it so that God’s mercy and compassion might
   in you!
The prayer that God gains God’s attention. . .
Sincere Appeal,
  2 critical mindsets>> Undivided attention, Unbiased estimate
Comprehensive Confession
  3-fold acknowledgement that comprises a
  1. God’s righteousness
  2. Precise Wrongdoing
  3. Just deserves
Unambiguous Request for Forgiveness
  2 clear understandings that
  1. Undeserved compassion
  2. Not-for-personal-profit motive
May God help us. . .

Many blush to confess their faults, who never blush to commit them.WILLIAM SECKER
God puts away many in anger for their supposed goodness, but not any at all for their confessed badness.JOHN TRAPP 
The Believer’s Prayer Life #7
Confession #2--The Prayer that Grabs God’s Attention
Jeremiah 29:1-14; Daniel 9:1-19

• Introduction

Theme: ____________________________________________________
___________________________________________________.  There are three crucial components of prayer that elicits God’s attention and response.


I.  Sincere Appeal to God (v.3)  - “gave my attention, to seek Him”
  Two critical mindsets that characterize a sincere appeal. . .

     A.  Undivided attention to God -- “____  ___________”

INPUT:  What is “fasting” usually associated with that leaves us with a bad   impression of this activity?

 

 
INPUT:  Why is an extended time of “undivided attention” particularly    uncharacteristic of our society today?

 

     B.  Unbiased _________________ of self  --  “sackcloth and ashes”

INPUT:  Think of the picture that wearing “sackcloth” and sprinkling ashes    represents.  What does this tell you about Daniel’s state of mind?


INPUT:  Why do these outward signs of humility, repentance, and devotion seem    so foreign to us in the late 20th Century.

 

II.  Comprehensive Confession of Sin (v. 4-14)
Three-fold acknowledgment that comprises a comprehensive confession. . .

     A.  Acknowledgment of God’s _______________________.
_________________________________________________________________.

INPUT:  Biblical passages to consider on God’s righteousness?

 

     B.  Acknowledgment of ____________ Wrongdoing

INPUT:  Why does Daniel’s word represent a “definitive” confession?


Notice the terms he uses. . .
1. “sin” -  Missing the mark
2.  “iniquity” - crookedness
3.  “wickedness” - confusion
4.  “rebellion” - defiance of authority
5.  “turning away”

     C.  Acknowledgment of Just “Deserves” (vv. 7-8, 13-14)

IMPLICATIONS:  What may be a true of an individual who verbalizes a  confession but is unwilling to face consequences?


III.  Unambiguous Request for Forgiveness (vv. 18-19)
Two clear understandings we must have as we request mercy. . .

     A.   _______________ Compassion (v. 18)

     B.  Not-for-Personal Profit _____________ (v. 19) “ For Thine own sake”

The Believer’s Prayer Life #7
Confession #2--The Prayer that Grabs God’s Attention
Jeremiah 29:1-14; Daniel 9:1-19

• Introduction

Theme:  Believers must understand & begin growing in the prayer that elicits God’s attention and response.  There are three 3 crucial components of prayer that elicits God’s attention and response.


I.  Sincere Appeal to God (v.3)  - “gave my attention, to seek Him” 

Two critical mindsets that characterize a sincere appeal.

     A.  Undivided attention to God -- “with
fasting”

INPUT:  What is “fasting” usually associated with that leaves us with a bad impression of this activity?

INPUT:  Why is an extended time of “undivided attention” particularly uncharacteristic of our society today?

 

     B.  Unbiased estimation of self  --   “sackcloth and ashes”
INPUT:  Think of the picture that  wearing “sackcloth” and sprinkling  ashes represents.  What does this tell you  about Daniel’s state of mind?

INPUT:  Why do these outward signs of  humility, repentance, and devotion seem   so foreign to us in the late 20th Century.

II.  Comprehensive Confession of Sin (v. 4-14).

Three-fold acknowledgment that comprises a comprehensive confession. . .

     A.  Acknowledgment of God’s  Righteousness
Our sinfulness is most clearly seen in  the context of God’s righteousness.

INPUT:  Biblical passages to consider  on God’s righteousness?

     B.  Acknowledgment of Precise      Wrongdoing

INPUT:  Why does Daniel’s words  represent a “definitive” confession?

Notice the terms he uses. . .
1. “sin” -  Missing the mark
2.  “iniquity” - crookedness
3.  “wickedness” - confusion
4.  “rebellion” - defiance of authority
5.  “turning away”

     C.  Acknowledgment of Just “Deserves”    (vv. 7-8, 13-14)

IMPLICATIONS:  What may be a true  of an individual who verbalizes a  confession but is unwilling to face  consequences?


III.  Unambiguous Request for  Forgiveness (vv. 18-19).

Two clear  understandings we must have as we  request mercy. . .

     A  Undeserved Compassion (v. 18)

     B.  Not-for-Personal Profit Motive (v.  19) “ For Thine own sake”

Brent Aucoin

M.S. - Engineering, Purdue University
M.Div. - Central Baptist Seminary
Th.M. - Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Ph.D. - Baptist Bible Seminary

Pastor Brent Aucoin and his wife, Janet, came on staff in July of 1998.  Pastor Aucoin serves as overseer of Faith Seminary and Soul Care Ministries at Faith Church.

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